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by Laura Brower
Published on May 8, 2017

Augusta University Health (formerly Georgia Regents Health) works closely with Cerner through a strategic alignment called the Jaguar Collaborative. In this blog, AU Health leader Laura Brower, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer, explains how the collaboration (also called Cerner ITWorks) helps the organization drive fundamental cultural change and improve care.

When I joined Augusta University Health (AU Health) in 2014, our organization was at a turning point. We had legacy technology — many of our solutions were 10 years behind the latest upgrades.

We were also functioning in siloes within our organization. Everyone was working hard on urgent problems. Operations were characterized by activities rather than by defined processes. We lacked interprofessional collaboration, standardization, alignment and process maturity. Our operations needed to advance to an integrated approach with defined processes that are repeatable and regularly evaluated for improvement in collaboration among all organizational units. With these challenges in mind, we knew we needed a partner to help us enhance our practice environment.

Bridging the gap between nursing and HIT

Our overall goal was to optimize our professional practice of nursing. We wanted to bridge the gap between nursing and health IT (HIT) and improve all of the clinical pathways for nursing. We also implemented our journey to the Magnet Recognition Program for nursing excellence.

Throughout all of this work, one thing has remained clear: The path forward is about much more than the technology — it's the people with whom we work through the Jaguar Collaborative.

In 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) asked: Who or what is the entity that can make the biggest impact on transforming health care? The answer, IOM found, was nursing.

Some of the initiatives we put in place were built around IOM's Future of Nursing report, messages that our nurses should practice to the extent of their license, they should be full partners with physicians in redesigning healthcare, and the need to have better data utilized in improving performance and outcomes. For us, bridging the gap between nursing and HIT was about consulting and innovation — finding a way for our unique needs to be met and help us advance care.

As our journey began, we started working to find gaps in nursing practice and also analyzed how prepared we were to begin our Magnet journey.

The Year of the Nurse

At AUHealth, 2015-2016 was the Year of the Nurse. We worked non-stop with the Cerner ITWorks team to implement 12 solutions, including iView documentation, interdisciplinary plans of care, breast milk and depression screening projects, the Clairvia scheduling and a bed capacity system, as well as case management.

All of these implementations occurred in just one year.

Within 12 months, we had become better users of technology and a more collaborative team. We identified and developed our chief nursing information officer, a role we did not have before the Jaguar Collaborative.

We have advanced because of true transformational leadership at Cerner and AUHealth — We all worked together, and it took us all to drive the fundamental cultural change at AUHealth.

Our increased clinical alignment with the Jaguar Collaborative has helped us put the person — the patient — at the center.

We call our closest relationships with our clients Cerner ITWorks. Through these strategic alignments, we manage all of your IT needs — and more. Learn more here.

Special Edition of The Cerner Podcast | Ep. 98: Thursday at #CHC18

by Cerner Corporation
October 11, 2018
In this special edition episode of The Cerner Podcast, we bring insights from the 2018 Cerner Health Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where more than 12,000 attendees from across the country and the globe have come together to learn and network. Sit at the table with us as we have conversations with health care leaders, Cerner clients and industry influencers. We’ll be covering health IT trends and focusing on this year’s CHC theme of “Smarter Care.” In Thursday's episode, we hear from Michelle Rathman, rural health strategist and influencer. Since founding Impact! Communications in 1989, Michelle’s work has made her an invaluable voice among rural health advocates. We also welcome Emil Peters, president of Cerner Global. Emil shared how he's watched CHC evolve in his decade-spanning career with Cerner and talks about how the health care industry is changing – and how health care providers and IT organizations must change with it.

Smarter Care, ACO Strategies and Leveraging the Power of Digital Health | #CHC18 Day 5

by Cerner Corporation
October 11, 2018
The last full day of #CHC18 wrapped Wednesday evening with the annual Cerner Bash at Kansas City's Power & Light district. On Thursday, we had a half-day of education sessions covering topics from restructuring accountable care organization (ACO) strategies to transforming health care through digital innovation. Here are today's highlights.

World Mental Health Day, Interoperability Advances, Rural Health Care Opportunities and More | #CHC18 Day 4

by Cerner Corporation
October 10, 2018
World Mental Health Day coincided with day four of #CHC18, giving us all a chance to reflect on how we can enhance mental health education, awareness and advocacy against stigma. Wednesday also kicked off with the final keynote that delved into the topics of the opioid crisis and the intersection of artificial intelligence and genome intelligence. With an array of power sessions, special interest group meetings and panels throughout the day, conference attendees had plenty of opportunities to learn, network and contribute to the push toward smarter care.

Special Edition of The Cerner Podcast | Ep. 96: Tuesday at #CHC18

by Cerner Corporation
October 10, 2018
In this special edition episode, we bring insights from the 2018 Cerner Health Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where more than 12,000 attendees from across the country and the globe have come together to learn and network. Sit at the table with us as we have conversations with health care leaders, Cerner clients and industry influencers. We're covering health IT trends and focusing on this year’s CHC theme of “Smarter Care.”